Following in the footsteps of an art fair giant like Papa Basel can't be easy, but judging by Art Miami's shoddy spectacle this past weekend it seemed as though its organizers didn't even try to compete.
The first thing to strike the senses on entering the Miami Beach Convention Center this past Friday, situated smack in the center, surrounded by a bizarre kind of mesh-style fabric, was a band strumming (badly, we might add) Dire Straits songs. Why, who knows. Equally as bizarre was the shiny, new BMW strategically parked opposite.
But what about the art? Let's put it this way: second-rate artists imitating well-known styles does not an art fair make. With the exception of Carol Jazzar -- whose booth boasted the Gismo duo's tongue in cheek photographs and Brad Kuhl's images created from masking tape -- works ranged from terrible to tacky and back to terrible.
Art Miami organizers had a chance to remedy their mistakes by encouraging art fair visitors to descend on Wynwood on Saturday evening, but few gallerys were even open.
"It was a shame that all the spaces were not supportive," says Claire Breukel, director of Locust projects, adding positively that the fair's smaller size made "it easy to navigate."
Small enough so as to appease the viewing demands of the public - or small because few wanted to take part?
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